Sunday, June 21, 2015

Lesson learned: Always have a speech ready to go

GROLIER CLUB, 60th St., Manhattan - I should have known better. Really.

After more than 40 years in the news business and attending countless awards ceremonies, dinners, graduations and fetes of every imaginable kind, I know that anyone even remotely connected to the event should have a finely crafted speech in their pocket.

And be ready to give it on the spot.

But for some inexplicable reason (even to myself), I didn't prepare a real speech of any kind for the Green Book Festival awards reception. Nada, zip, zilch.

And for Godsakes, I was an honoree - first place in the General Fiction category.

I can't explain it, exactly. But there was a lesson learned. Oh yes there was...

Mercifully enough, I didn't speak first. I went second. But had I gone, oh, eight people later, I think my short talk would have been a little more, um, coherent? It worked out all right. Several of the audience members even commented that they enjoyed my off-beat sense of humor. Off-beat, that's what they said. And I'm taking it as a complete compliment and running with it as fast as I can.

The award was for The Fracking War (2014), not the just-published Fracking Justice.

General Fiction - the award (and me...)
While I'll take credit for spinning a good yarn in The Fracking War, the credit for landing this first place Green Book Festival honor really goes to Sylvia Fox for tracking down the contest, getting the book entered on time, and then convincing me - after I learned that I had won - to get my author butt down to New York City to collect it.

It was worth every bit of nail-biting NYC traffic.

As I sat and listened to the award winners give their speeches/talks (some very well-organized, others seemed to subscribe to my just-wing-it style), I realized how much I want to get back to drafting the third novel in the fracking trilogy, Fracking Evil.

I am anxious to fire up the novel-writing machine partly to round out the series, but also so I can jump on the next book after that, a book I've had percolating for several years.

More on that book another time. Right now, I need to put together a quick set of talking points for a speech - just in case I'm asked to give one on short notice.